a-frustrating-saturday

A Frustrating Saturday

Friday evening became another of those “Yes” or “No” occasions when every weather forecast was different to the next. Saturday morning might be too wet & windy for ringing but the timings of any wind or rain couldn’t agree. Weather charts for the coming week looked equally scary by way of wind, rain and glimpses of sunshine. 

Saturday might be the single opportunity for a week or more to get a little ringing underway. A phone conversation with Andy left us agreeing about the possible window on Saturday, a last minute decision and a hurried breakfast. 

When I sent a text at 0715 Andy replied that he was already on site so off I went into cold, cloudy skies but a zero wind and no rain. I quickly donned jacket, wellies and woolly hat and we set off across the thoroughly wet and puddled field to the depleted but still functioning seed plot and then the tree nets. 

Soon we were up and running with first birds in the nets of a new Robin and yet another un-ringed Chiffchaff. 

Chiffchaff

Linnets were quickly on the move east to west along the strip of seed plot, helped along the way by a singing Linnet below that served to entice some in for a feed. A zero on the wind scale changed quite quickly to 5, 10 and finally 15+, when trying to catch Linnet in a ballooning net became impossible. We had already lost out on four or more Linnets that jumped out as we approached. We packed in at 1030 following a reasonable catch and the help of slightly sheltered tree nets that escaped the worst of the now blustery and cold morning. 

There seemed to be good numbers of Linnets around (up to 130), with a couple of long-winged females handled being contenders for ‘Northern’ Linnets. It was a shame that on this occasion the wind beat us again when another hour or two would have doubled our score of Linnets. 

18 birds caught, all new. 8 Linnet, 3 Long-tailed Tit, 3 Greenfinch, 1 Great Tit, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Robin, 1 Chiffchaff. 

Long-tailed Tit

Linnet

Goldcrest

Greenfinch

The blustery weather definitely didn’t help our birding but in no particular order we had sightings of 800+ Starlings, 100+ Linnet, 30 Greenfinch, 12 Long-tailed Tit, 8 Redwing, a single Buzzard, a male Sparrowhawk, 450+ Curlew, 250 Lapwing, 4 Whooper Swan, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Little Egret, 1 Raven. 

Whooper Swans

Recent local sightings suggest a Snow Bunting winter may occur along our Lancashire coasts, a habitat with similarities to the species’ breeding areas. 

The Snow Bunting is an Arctic specialist, with a circumpolar Arctic breeding range throughout the northern hemisphere with small isolated populations on a few high mountain tops south of the Arctic region, including the Cairngorms of Scotland. 

This is another species that may have benefited from two seasons of lockdowns and reduced footfall and associated disturbance over its breeding spots, landscapes popular with summer walkers. 

Snow Bunting

Snow Bunting

It’s a year or two since my last photographical rather than flyover Snow Bunting. The one above hung about one spot along Pilling shore for a few weeks in early November 2013. 


a-bit-more-interest,-including-a-passing-goosander

A bit more interest, including a passing Goosander

SSE wind to start with moved round to SSW by afternoon. Light showers with occasional sunshine.

Just my mid morning stroll stuff so far (MD)

South Shore

Raven 1 chased east from Ocean Edge by resident Carrion Crows

Kestrel 1

Shelduck 56

Wigeon 63

Rock Pipits 3  (one each on Red Nab, sea wall and inner harbour)

There have been a lot more gulls on No.2 outflow for the last few days, mainly Black-Headed gulls but today joined by this 2nd calendar year Mediterranean gull, but not for long before it returned to the mud.

Goosander are not common in the recording area, this is only the second record this year (two were seen on 26th April). 11:00 this female or immature bird flew south past the wooden jetty.

Hard to see detail, both on this clip and in real time, their wing beats are so fast. These are screen shots from the above clip, still not clear, but at least still.


Goosander 

Middleton Nature Reserve 

Just a quick check of the two main ponds on my way home

Mute Swan 2 adult with 9 immature 

Coot 1

Moorhen 6

Mallard 11 (10 on main pond)

Gadwall 27 (11 on main pond)

Coot on main pond



how-to-watch-wildlife-safely-and-humanely?

How To Watch Wildlife Safely and Humanely?

Wildlife Removal

by

Watching wildlife can be one of life’s great pleasures. As people often spend the majority of their days indoors, those spent outside can revitalize the spirit and bring us back in touch with nature. It is important, however, to make sure that the experience of observing wildlife is mutually beneficial. Humans are often unaware of their effects on common wildlife species, and many residents are unsure when to call wildlife control services. Here’s a simple guide for dealing with wildlife in natural areas.

Watching Wildlife Ethically

Although urban habitats are home to innumerable species, viewing wild animals in their original habitats can be a far more rewarding experience than simply gazing out of your window. Further, many common methods humans use for luring wildlife onto their properties can cause more problems than they solve.

Hosting bird feeders or other unnatural food sources can attract species other than the ones you want in your yard. Raccoons, skunks, and other urban omnivores are often happy to take advantage of the free calories you supply them by leaving food on your property. Although these species are usually harmless to people, attracting them with food can lead them to breaches in your property, where they may take up long-term residence. Removing large animals from your home can be more expensive and difficult than, for example, marmot or squirrel removal, so it is always best to avoid feeding on your property.

Wildlife Control

Where To View Wildlife

The best places to view wildlife are parks and designated natural areas. These areas are usually home to the largest wildlife populations, and they offer opportunities to view a broad range of species. Squirrels and birds are often the easiest animals to spot, but parks are full of other, rarer species like foxes and groundhogs. 

Unlike most humans, animals spend virtually their entire lives looking for food and avoiding predators. This is why the best places to find wild animals are areas between landscape types, such as the boundaries of forests and fields. Animals use these delineations to venture out to find food. When danger arises, they often quickly retreat to safer areas.

When wildlife watching, you should always keep sufficient distance to avoid spooking animals. When you find yourself in an enclosed area, be careful not to corner frightened animals. Even the most placid species can lash out if intimidated unnecessarily. Since open areas offer longer viewing distances than enclosed forests, you can often find elusive creatures at the boundary of a field without causing them unnecessary consternation.

Rivers, ponds, and other aquatic habitats are also excellent places to view many animals, as all animals depend on water to survive. When watching ducks or other birds in waterways, never feed them bread or other processed products. Processed carbohydrates can gum up avian intestines, resulting in serious long-term problems.

Small Mammal and Bird Removal 

Animals do not recognize the same property boundaries as people do. As a homeowner, you should understand what animal behaviour is safe and what isn’t. The mere presence of a fox or coyote on your property during the day isn’t a cause for alarm. An entrenched colony of bats or birds in the walls of your home is. 

You should never try to handle an entrenched animal intrusion on your own. An experienced professional can remove animals humanely and exclude future visitors from your property indefinitely. For experienced and ethical wildlife removal professionals, call Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control today.


last-days-at-spurn-–-and-a-runner!

Last days at Spurn – and a runner!

The Safari and LCV left our salubrious accommodation hopeful that today would be a better day than yesterday. No fog, light winds but a clear sky meant conditions were good but not brilliant for watching migration in action. 

With the tide in we decided to spurn early morning seawatching and hit the wetlands first. It didn’t take LCV long to pick out a Spotted Redshank among the waders roosting waiting for the tide to drop and feeding to resume. It was right at the back of the pool so pointless trying to get anything submitted to the SD card. Three Greenshanks were there too among a nice mix of waders including Bar and Black Tailed Godwits, half a dozen or so Ruff, and a few Knot and Dunlin – couldn’t see any Little Stints though despite them being seen recently. Try as we might we couldn’t pick out any Garganeys among the 250 odd Teal. Still couldn’t find LCV a Caspian Gull for his trip list either. We did spend a good while pointing out the intricacies of the ID features of the various ages of Mediterranean Gulls to a some newby birders while we waited for something more out of the ordinary to turn up. We also showed them the Little Owl. In the end the only ‘out of the ordinary’ was a lone Siskin heading south. Back up to the village a small crowd caught our attention at the church where a Yellow Browed Warbler had been showing. It took a while before both of us had got anything like decent views as it flitted about high in the dense canopy of a still more or less fully leaved Sycamore tree. We heard a single Brambling fly over too. 

News then broke of a Purple Sandpiper on the river along the canal so off we went for a shuffy at that. Another couple were looking for it on the pebbly beach but we couldn’t see it there either so scanned around the nearby mud to find it tucked upon a small island of saltmarsh grasses with a few Turnstones. It wasn’t there long as another birder walked past with his tripod with legs fully extended over his shoulder and flushed everything in the immediate vicinity. 

Next we had a drive down the lane to see if anything was happening at the Warren or on the sea. Walking beyond the gate we had a Redwing go over and some Meadow Pipits. With the pipits going over we asked LCV would he would know the call of an Olive Backed Pipit if one flew over us. He replied that like us it’s not a species he’s familiar with so got his phone app going and played the call for us to listen to. By now we were reaching the ringing area today manned by the young ringing crew, despite being at least 30 yards away and possibly even 50 and the phone not that loud one of whom, JS, called out to us OBP? No no we shouted back – just playing it on the phone. But what fantastic knowledge and finely honed ears – very impressive!

With nothing much happening down there we made our way back to the Canal Scrape Hide, where nothing much was happening either. A Little Grebe climbing out onto a clump of vegetation kept the camera occupied – what is it with Little Grebes at Spurn in the autumn? Can’t recall seeing this behaviour anywhere else.

We had no sight nor sound the the small flock of Bearded Tits that had been in the area a couple of hours earlier that we had hoped to see but a couple of bickering Water Rails kept us occupied for a while. Getting a decent shot of them was another matter though. Best we could manage was this effort in the shaded part of the gap in the reeds, when they had been on the other sunny side they’d been obscured by fallen vegetation.

After a bite to eat it was off to enjoy the Short Eared Owls again – and why wouldn’t you! As you can see we filled our boots – and why wouldn’t you! Thankfully this time they are flying of their own accord and hadn’t been disturbed by anyone entering their field.


Owl and tractor in the same shot – heaven!!! If only we’d focused on the tractor – there might have been a Mediterranean Gull in the following flock – even better!

While watching the owls we were told of a Yellow Browed Warbler further along in the bushes that had been seen about an hour earlier. LCV took the high road and we took the low paths. Not much about at all. A couple of Blackbirds, a Chiffchaff and a Chaffinch were all we could muster. A couple of minutes later a small movement caught our eye in a Hawthorn bush alongside the big ditch. Seconds later a stonking Yellow Browed Warbler came to the outside of the bush and sat up in the uppermost twigs, an absolutely splendiferous view. We shouted out to LCV and whoever else was stood up on the bank – ‘in the bush with lots of berries by the ditch’. That info must covered about a dozen bushes but we thought folk would home in on where the shout had come from. No-one came which is probably just as well as a Short Eared Owl flew right over the top of the bush just as we were lifting the camera and flushed it. Despite several minutes hard searching we never saw it again. So back to the owl field we went for yet another look at the beauties doing their thing.

It was beginning to get late into the afternoon but another call about the Yellow Browed Warbler came up so we went back to the bushes for another look. This time it was in bushes at the top of the bank close to the track where, apparently, it had first been seen that afternoon. Nothing but a couple of flits back and forth low down that we couldn’t get on. A little disappointing we couldn’t get a pic would have been nice to get one in natural habitat to compliment the in-the-hand shot we’d got earlier in the trip. There was very little about and when this Sparrowhawk turned up the very little become nothing!

By now the light was fading fast – time to head back to the Crown for some grub. We stopped on Peter Lane to have a look at the owl box and in the dim light could just about make out the white disc of a Barn Owl‘s face, that made it a ‘three owl day’ – can’t be bad!

That evening we ummed and ahhhed about the relative merits of continuing to stalk Spurn in the morning or up sticks for the day and head half way home to twitch the recently discovered and finally re-identified Long Toed Stint near Leeds. If we did that we could then do a detour on Monday for the long staying White Tailed Lapwing across the river on the way home. The stint won!!! Butties were made in the evening for a quick getaway in the morning.

What a morning it was too, bright and sunny and as warm as summer. An hour and a half later were amongst an eager throng of birders all jostling for position to try to get a good view on a tiny bird on a little island of mud over 100 yards away. With a bit of patience, good manners and bit of luck on the part of the bird deciding to show itself everyone got a good view. At that range even in the excellent light getting a good pic no matter how well it was showing was another matter…but you’ve gotta try haven’t you.

With all that sunshine we now wish we’d taken the teleconverter – hindsight is such a wonderful thing…NOT

A Cetti’s Warbler scolded the crowd from the bushes behind us and a couple of Jays flew over the pool, their crops bulging with acorns. We misinterpreted the directions LCV had got from one of the locals and somehow missed the pool with the Spoonbills. As we were leaving we met old friend MJ coming along the path. He told us a couple of other friends were already in the crowd, we’d missed them, and he was bring up the rear. Yesterday we found out another friend, SB, was also there at that time – would have been like a Fylde birders reunion down there! And a Red Kite was soaring over the hillside as we got closer to the bursting-at-the-seams car park. A cracking morning in glorious sunshine.

Butties and pies were eaten back at the car when LCV says ‘we’ll do the lapwing on the way back – saves going on the way home tomorrow’. Good man…

Easy to find, it was the nearest bird to the hide when we arrived. No messing about – we like em like that. Mind you it was asleep. But good thinks come to those that wait and it woke up and had a mooch about and started feeding…nice one. Two Lifers in one day – it’s a long long time since that’s happened!

A Curlew Sandpiper had been seen from the hide nearer the car park…well we were going that way anyway…

Then LCV went one better and found a second one. We had both feeding together with a couple of Ruffs but sadly a little too far away for any decent pics. With time now pushing on and no Bearded Tits showing we high-tailed it back to Spurn and the Crown just in time for tea.

Our final new bird for the trip was heard late that night, a Tawny Owl hooting from the small wood behind our digs.

For our final morning we had a quick seawatch and a mooch round the hot spots but only submitting a Pale Bellied Brent Goose, one of three at the bottom end of the canal, to the SD card. They’d been in that area most mornings so we thought we’d best point the camera at them.

At Cliff Farm we heard a shrill call, Chiffchaff like-ish but then also a bit like a very loud Yellow Browed Warbler too. Unsure as to what it was we stopped to see if we could get on but only saw a few low flits. Somehow it evaded us and ended up calling from the pub car park…we chased after it, again without any success getting on it. Eventually we gave up and it was time to say goodbye and hit the road back to the west coast. Back at Base Camp the following morning we had a look on Spurn’s Twitter feed to see a recording of a Western Bonelli’s Warbler (can you see a sound???) taken at the very same place – cor blimey it didn’t half sound like what we’d heard the day before…Had we missed the best bird of the trip by far (at Spurn) or was what we heard ‘just’ a Chiffchaff – sadly we’ll never know but that nagging doubt still lingers.

A great time was had by all even if the birding was hard work at times. A massive thanks to LCV for organising the trip, even if the accommodation was dodgy at first, and doing the driving marathon and thanks to to IH for joining us – great to have most of the old bird race team back together.

Thanks to all the other birders, especially SE in the sseawatching hide, for all the info, directions, laughs and general birdy banter. And to the lad from St Helen’s who let us look through his new Swazza NL Pure’s – WOW We want them!!!!!!  Need to save a lorra lorra lorra lorra lorra pennies though.

In the end the Tawny Owl was our 97th bird of the trip, just couldn’t quite nail that ton – maybe next time!

Where to next? An impromptu dart up north.

In the meantime let us know who’s giving you the runaround in your outback.


not-a-great-deal-today

Not a great deal today

 A south wind with the odd light shower. Overcast all day.

Just my mid morning check of Red Nab and saltmarsh area so far (MD).

Mediterranean gull at least 4 – 2 adult and a 2nd calendar year on Red Nab. Another adult on the mud out from the saltmarsh. Another flew east, but that may have been one of the Red Nab birds.

Common gull with a yawning Mediterranean gull, just out from the saltmarsh 

There were no Linnet on the Saltmarsh today, there were still 16 Greenfinch, but today, they were feeding on something on the saltmarsh itself and out of sight. So I’m posting this clip taken yesterday when they were feeding on bracken seeds.

Rock Pipit 2 – one on Red Nab and another flying south over the mud.

Common Snipe 2

Dunlin 60

Ringed Plover 21

Both the above, just out from the saltmarsh 

Kestrel 1

Little Egret 7

Grey Heron 1

Wigeon 66 initially on Red Nab but headed to saltmarsh when the tide reached it

Mallard 3

Geese sp 2 – probably Pink-Footed very high to south

Swan sp. 5 flying north in land

Long-Tailed Tits – 18+ – as I approached Red Nab the bushes just behind Red Nab were full of them. At one point there were 18 hovering over the closest bush to the gate, and there were more calling from other bushes (unfortunately I hadn’t got my camera out). There were no other tit species with them. Pete confirmed that this area is a classic irruptive dead end. At this time of year they have been observed here before, and subsequently seen flying high towards Knott End. Unfortunately I didn’t hang around to check which way they left, and they were gone when I returned.


Bald Eagle #21-1030 Update

During the past two months, the veterinary team continued to treat Bald Eagle #21-1030’s carpal wounds. On September 10, they moved the eagle to the Center’s A3 flight pen to give her more space, which will help reduce her stress in captivity and lessen her chances of bumping her wings and aggravating the wounds. After months of bandage changes and daily treatment with topical ointments and antiseptics, the eagle’s carpal wounds appear much improved, though the prognosis is still guarded. The veterinary team will continue to provide treatment for these wounds and closely monitor for signs of infection or necrosis.


As the weather for Saturday, and the foreseeable future, looks windy and unsettled, Colin decided that everyone who was planning on leaving should go today. So we had to say goodbye to all this week’s guests. Alison was Staying on for a second week as is Fiona as a volunteer.

The boat was due to depart at 1500, so that gave a bit of time for some morning birding, though there was not a huge amount to report.

Waiting for the boat… (c) Fiona Bithell
Benlli III arriving at Cafn  – (c) Rosie Hall

Offshore were 21 Gannets. Two Teals were on Pwll Cain, and the usual 23 Mallards were on Solfach. Four Common Scoters flew south and a Buzzard was at Nant and a Merlin on the Narrows. Three Snipes were the wader highlights in the Wetlands. 

Two Collared Doves were still at Ty Pellaf as was the Black Redstart.

Black Redstart

The Great Spotted Woodpecker was at Ty Pellaf Withy and four Skylarks headed south. On the Narrows there were 38 Rock Pipits and a Pied Wagtail.

Eight Blackbirds were seen and 16 Redwings were seen between the Obs and Nant. A Blackcap was at Cristin, and another at Nant. here were five Chiffchaffs, three at the Obs and two at Nant, along with three Goldcrests at Nant and one at the Obs.

Male Blackcap

A flock of 36 Choughs were seen; one of them appeared to have a fishing hook stuck in its wing!

Chough with fishing hook in wing

Magpie numbers reached 21 in the lowlands and 10 at Ty Pellaf and two Ravens were seen at Ty Pellaf.

Magpie at Ty Pellaf
Gronk Gronk Gronk…

There were fewer finches seen; 18 Chaffinches flew over the Obs, eight Siskins were seen, 21 Goldfinches were at Ty Pellaf and 12 Linnets were there too.


are-cats-an-effective-mice-control-method?

Are Cats An Effective Mice Control Method?

Mice Removal Milwaukee

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It’s no secret that cats and mice are mortal enemies. As with any type of predator and prey, these animals have a dynamic where the mice tend to hide from the cats that give chase. Because of this, you may think that owning a cat is a good way to rid your home of mice. This isn’t always the case. Here’s what you need to know about the relationship between cats and mice.

Do Cats Really Deter Mice?

There are several ongoing studies being produced to analyze the effect a cat’s presence has on mice. Many people believe that owning a cat is enough to deter mice, but studies seem to indicate differently. A study conducted by the University of Florida found that mice were often found in homes with cats. The rodents may not be as active to avoid drawing the attention of the cat, but they were still often present.

Interestingly, the study found that mice were less likely to be present in homes that had both cats and dogs. The presence of multiple predators appeared to deter mice rather than simply changing their foraging habits.

However, the presence of cats in a home does prevent mice from coming out in the open. No one knows for sure why this happens, but studies indicate that there are two reasons for it. The first reason mice stay away from cats is because of their sense of smell. Pheremones from the cat indicate to the mouse that a predator is nearby so the rodent avoids coming in contact with the feline.

The second reason that mice are afraid of cats is because felines like to chase rodents down. Feral cats hunt for food, but domestic cats may toy with rodents they find. This is because domestic cats receive food from their owners and aren’t dependant on hunting for survival. They have the sae instincts, though, so they enjoy chasing mice.

Mice Control Milwaukee

How Do You Get Rid of Mice?

Mice multiply quickly and can overrun your home if they aren’t removed. While cats may deter mice from coming out in the open, they are not usually effective for preventing rodents from entering your home in the first place. If you start to hear skirring sounds in your walls or notice mouse droppings throughout your house, your best bet is to contact a professional for mouse removal. 

You don’t want mice in your home because they can carry numerous diseases and cause significant damage to the structure of your home. Because current studies indicate that the presence of a cat is not enough to keep mice out of your home, adopting a feline is not the most effective method for rodent control, although it does help. 

If you try to take care of the problem yourself, you could accidentally make the issue worse. Many rodents traps are inhumane and ineffective, and if you fail to get rid of every mouse in your home, you haven’t solved the problem. If you want to avoid harming the creatures, it’s best to leave mouse removal to the professionals.

How Can Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control Help You Get Rid of Mice?

If you need mice removal wildlife control in Milwaukee, Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control can help. Our experts have the knowledge and tools that are neccesary to catch mice humanely and release them in safer, more appropriate locations. Once we have removed all of the rodents from your home, we’ll help you identify potential points of entry so that you can block them and prevent nice mice from taking up residence in your home. We’ll also provide you with tips on how to make your home less appealing to mice. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for rodent removal.


wildlife-act’s-bearded-vulture-monitor-in-lesotho-–-mapaseka
makoae

Wildlife ACT’s Bearded Vulture Monitor in Lesotho – Mapaseka Makoae

Introducing you to a Rhino Peak Challenge participant of our own, a young Mosotho woman, Mapaseka Makoae, aged 32, who hails from the little village of Makhapung in Mokhotlong district of Lesotho. Being born in the breathtakingly beautiful highlands of Lesotho, her love for the natural world started when she was young.

Wildlife ACT’s Bearded Vulture Monitor in Lesotho - Mapaseka Makoae
Mapaseka Makoae

Mapaseka followed her passion and worked as a mountaineer and tour guide for many years. Her love for nature did not stop there. In 2019 she started monitoring Bearded Vultures and has been working to save the species ever since.

Wildlife ACT’s Bearded Vulture Monitor in Lesotho - Mapaseka Makoae

Mapaseka’s work forms part of the Maloti-Drakensberg Vulture Project, a long-term collaborative project focused on the cliff-nesting Vultures of the Maloti mountains in Lesotho and the Drakensberg mountains in South Africa. The species include the Bearded Vulture and the Cape Vulture.

The Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) is a regionally Critically Endangered species in Southern Africa whose entire range in the Southern Hemisphere falls within the Maloti-Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa and Lesotho. A project was initiated in 2000 to determine the breeding status of the species and has more recently undertaken research and monitoring to quantify the decline in the species, investigate the mechanisms of this decline, and determine the most appropriate management actions necessary to attain the short-term species’ conservation target of a positive population growth rate.

Wildlife ACT’s Bearded Vulture Monitor in Lesotho - Mapaseka Makoae
All photos by Mapaseka Makoae

The Bearded Vulture population is estimated at between 368-408 individuals (only 109-221 breeding pairs!) and occupies a breeding range of 28,125 km2. Research has shown that human impacts are driving the decline, with the primary causes of mortality being poisoning and collisions with powerlines.

Mapaseka is taking part in this year’s Rhino Peak Challenge in support of Wildlife ACT’s Vulture conservation efforts and she needs your help to reach her fundraising target! Please support Mapaseka and the amazing work she does as Wildlife ACT’s Bearded Vulture Monitor.


snaderlings-best-of-a-mixed-pot

Snaderlings best of a mixed pot

West wind with heavy and constant rain till 10:30. After that the gaps between the showers became more prolonged.

First an interesting update from yesterday, provided by Phil Simpson.

Guillemot still present in Heysham Harbour Thursday to 1350 when it flew out strongly into the sun.

Today

South shore (MD)

I started at the saltmarsh at 10:30, just as the rain stopped and the sun came out, unfortunately briefly, there were more showers to come!

Linnet 30

Greenfinch 14 

Both the above feeding on bracken seeds around the saltmarsh

Wigeon c30

Mallard 4

Little Egret 8

Grey Heron 1

Common Snipe 5

Rock Pipit 4 (2+1 battling near saltmarsh slipway, 1 near the waterfall)

Sanderling 2. Unusually for me I heard them before spotting them (heard, but I didn’t know what I’d heard till I saw them). They either came from the saltmarsh or had flown overland from the north side. They flew past me and rested briefly on the waterline out from Ocean Edge foreshore. Pete said that it is getting late for passage. They didn’t stay long and flew off low to south. This clip is rubbish, but they were a distance out, fortunately it is just good enough to confirm species, but you may need to watch in slow motion.


This is just a blown up still from the above clip

Mediterranean gull 1 adult/3rd calendar year was all I could see on Red Nab as I went out, but by then it was lashing down again. On the return the tide had covered the rocks.

Cormorant – there were six resting on the upstands near the waterfall, but this 1st calendar year bird elected to rest on the harbour wall.

1st calendar year Cormorant 

I knew it was going to move off, so took this clip

North shore

I had a walk from the children’s play area to the emerging skear early in the ebbing tide, late afternoon (MD). By this time the showers were much less frequent but the dark skies made for some spectacular lighting!

Spectacular lighting over the skear

Early in the tide like this is good for the shore birds which tend to be concentrated, but not good for birds on the sea.

Eider 9

Great Crested Grebe 2

Red-breasted Merganser 3 – all males, although at first I thought this was a male in pursuit of a female.

As soon as the first bird took flight, it was obviously a male, so I assume the chasing bird was a mature male seeing off a younger bird (but I have been known to be wrong (MD))

This still from the above clip, as they take flight, clearly shows 

the large white wing panel on the lead bird

Later, what I took to be the young male and another appeared to be practicing displaying.

Little Egret 9

Ringed Plover c30

Grey Plover 1 – not so common on the north side

Plus Curlew, Oystercatcher, Redshank and Turnstone 


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